Ruby the VW Campervan is nestled underneath the Old Man of Coniston, right in the heart of the spectacular Lake District National Park. Our home for the next three nights is Conniston Coppice Park, a Caravan and Motorhome Club site just outside of Coniston.
Our journey from Dufton was only meant to be a short one of just over an hour, however however we made a number of stops so it ended up taking us several hours. Our first stop was at the butchers in Appleby, Low Howgill’s, which were the butchers that supplied the meat to The Stag in Dufton. When Keefy couldn’t decide which meal to have on Saturday night because everything looked so tempting, I promised to cook a traditional Cumberland cassoulet using their sausages so he could eliminate that off the menu!
The butchers/deli was outstanding, I could have had everything in the shop! We picked up homemade sausage rolls for breakfast, along with lots of local Appleby cheese, sausages, bread, local Cumbrian coffee, and pork pies!
We enjoyed a wander around Appleby doing the town heritage trail before picking up some fresh veg for the greengrocers and then making our way towards Penrith for more supplies.
Shopping procured we soon crossed into the Lake District National Park passing through Grasmere and into Coniston.
It took us a while to set up as we couldn’t decide which pitch to choose! The layout of the site is lovely, with lots of individual little glades, and as such we had the opportunity to park side on, a rarity on club sites. We’ve got our own private stream running alongside the side door, it’s lovely.
We needed to get our chocks out to level up- the first time since we downsized to Ruby and as such they were buried right at the back!
Once set up we enjoyed a late lunch, a delicious ploughman’s filled with local treats from our farm shop haul this morning, before a little stroll around the huge site.
Only half of it is open at this time of year, but it stretches right down the bank to almost the edge of Coniston Water,with the majority of the pitches entirely private on their own glade.
Dinner was a homemade carbonara before settling down to watch a film on Netflix.
Tuesday arrived dry but overcast. We began our day with bacon and sausage sandwiches, and I prepared the long awaited Sausage Cassoulet in the slow cooker, before joining the Cumbrian Way which runs at the bottom of the site towards Coniston. It’s a pleasant 2 mile walk and we were rewarded with views of The Old Man of Coniston and also Coniston Moor.
The weather seemed a little unsettled so we decided not to attempt the Old Man today, we’re not a fan of starting strenuous walks with a low chance of the rewarding view! Instead we opted for a lower level walk over Consiton Moor, yewdale fell and across the Coppermines.
It was a lovely walk, still quite strenuous in areas, however we were rewarded with great views all the way.
We enjoyed a couple of beers at the Sun Hotel and then the Bull – we got to try the local Coniston Brewery Bluebird and Old Man Ale.
Another stop at the local butchers for some more local sausage and of course a sausage roll, (not as good as the Appleby one!) and then we set off back to Ruby. We were surprised to see we’d clocked up 11.5 miles, but we’d escaped the rain which started just as we finished our ruby duties – loo, water etc!
Dinner tonight was a homemade leek and potato soup, made in my compact soup maker, which made light work of it, and then sausage cassoulet which was delicious!
Wednesday~ Rain stopped play today. Well we are in the Lake District where rain is to be expected- but we decided to use it as an excuse to have a rest and therefore declared a duvet day!
We therefore stayed in bed reading and drinking tea till almost midday! It is half term and we need to recharge, so recharged we did. Better weather is possibly on its way tomorrow – however you never know in the Lakes!
We had an amazing Cumbrian brunch which Keefy cooked- all produce from the local butchers in Coniston. Those sausages were amazing!
We then decided to have a small leg stretch to the local pub in Torver – despite the driving rain which drenched us even with all our waterproofs!
We were thankful for the prime spot in front of the log fire to dry out. Just in time to get drenched for the walk back to Ruby! Still, we clocked up another 4 miles for our target of 1000 miles in 2019 and we felt not quite so lazy as we had three hours earlier.
Dinner was a lovely chicken Balti before we watched a film on Netflix.
It didn’t stop raining all night and morning so sadly we decided to leave The Old Man of Coniston for this time. Next stop just over the valley- Great Langdale National Trust Campsite. Promise of finer weather is there!
Until next time